Psych2Go’s Michelle Rivas and Dr. David Colarossi from POP PSYCH discuss the psychology behind society’s obsession with social media, celebrities, and the implications that it can have on mental health. We’re also going to be touching on mental health awareness month and mental health access. Get your questions answered by Dr. Colarossi in this special episode of Ask an Advocate! You’ll be able to engage with us LIVE to have your questions answered! May 10th, 2023, @ 12 p.m. PST time.
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Depression – What You Need to Know
Depression is a common mental illness that affects people of all ages, races and sexes. It can be treated with psychotherapy (talk therapy) or medication, either alone or in combination with other treatments. The sooner that treatment begins, the more effective it is.
Almost everyone with depression feels better after treatment. The key to treating depression is finding a health care provider you trust and can work with for the long term. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a good therapist, but your primary care doctor, other members of your health care team or national mental health organizations can also provide referrals. If cost is an issue, consider checking with local senior centers or religious organizations that may offer therapy on a sliding fee scale.
The causes of depression are not completely understood, but a variety of factors contribute to its development. Some experts believe that differences in certain brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, play a role. Others suggest that genetics and early life experiences, including bereavement or other stressful events, can increase the risk of depression. And some studies have found that continuous exposure to violence, neglect or abuse can lead to depression in children and adults.
Some people feel depressed even when their lives seem relatively happy and healthy. This is sometimes called repressed depression or undiagnosed depression. It can be more difficult to recognize in young children and teens, who may not always show typical symptoms of sadness or irritability. In those cases, they might appear angry or clingy or use alcohol and drugs as a way to cope. Depression can cause people to withdraw from friends and family, which can lead to further isolation.
In addition, people with depression often have other medical problems like heart disease or cancer, which can make the feelings worse. If you have depression and another health problem, it is important to get treated for both conditions at the same time.
People with depression can benefit from learning healthy coping strategies and working through difficult emotions in psychotherapy, which is a type of talk therapy. This can help them feel better and prevent depression from returning. They might also benefit from getting enough sleep and eating well, exercising, spending time with supportive people and avoiding alcohol, nicotine and other drugs.
Medications can help reduce the severity and duration of depression, but they cannot cure it. Many patients find that a combination of treatment, lifestyle changes and therapy is most effective.
The most commonly used medications for depression include antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Antidepressants can take weeks to begin working, so they should be taken as prescribed. MAIs can have serious side effects and are not recommended for long-term use. People who are taking these medicines should avoid grapefruit, tanning beds and other things that might interact with them. Getting help for depression early is the best way to avoid a recurrence. This is especially important in people who have a history of depression or have a family history of it.